How Often Do Gymnasts Train? (revealed)

gymnast chalking up in training

I’m regularly asked by curious parents and gymnastics fans how often do gymnasts train but there’s no straightforward answer. Many factors affect the number of training hours including age, level and the discipline the gymnast is in.

Training regimes also vary from club to club, coach to coach and country to country. This article explores the probable range of hours a gymnast trains at all of the major points in their career taking all of these factors into account.

Let’s get into this!

Table of Contents

Olympic Gymnasts Training Schedule

Olympic gymnasts typically train for 30 to 35 hours per week, with their schedules varying depending on the time of year and their individual needs and goals. However, some elite gymnasts may train for up to 40 or more hours per week in the lead-up to a major competition.

Women’s Artistic gymnasts have four events to train for and they need to spend enough time on each one to bring their skills up to the required standard. Women compete on Floor, Vault, Uneven Bars and Balance Beam.

gymnast traning on vault

Male gymnasts also compete on Floor and Vault in addition to High Bar, Rings, Pommel and Parallel Bars making six events in total.

In training, Olympic gymnasts typically engage in a range of activities to improve their skills and physical abilities. Some common training activities include:

  1. Conditioning exercises: This may include strength training, cardio, and flexibility exercises designed to improve overall fitness and help prevent injury.
  2. Skills practice: This involves working on specific gymnastics skills on each apparatus (e.g. floor, vault, bars, beam) to improve form and execution.
  3. Routines: Gymnasts practice their full routines multiple times to build endurance, refine their skills, and prepare for competition.
  4. Mental preparation: This may include visualization techniques, goal-setting, and learning how to manage stress and perform under pressure.
  5. Injury prevention: Gymnasts may receive treatment and rehabilitation for any injuries they may have, as well as engage in activities to reduce their risk of injury.

Training sessions are typically intense and demanding, and gymnasts often work with coaches and trainers to develop individualized training plans that meet their unique needs and goals.

College Gymnasts

The major difference between College gymnasts and those on the Olympic pathway is the limit on the number of hours that college gymnasts can train.

This limit is set by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which regulates college athletics in the United States. According to NCAA rules, college gymnasts are limited to 20 hours of training and competition per week during the season and 8 hours per week during the off-season.

These limits are in place to ensure that student-athletes have adequate time for their academic pursuits and to prevent overtraining and burnout.

Whilst College gymnasts may train less than those aiming to make the Olympic team, the demands are still high and exhaustion is not uncommon.

Development Level Training Hours

Women’s Artistic Gymnastics uses a 10 level Development program that enables young gymnasts to progress and compete at the appropriate level. If you are wondering how often a gymnast should train at a particular level, the information below will serve as a guide.

However, bear in mind that these figures will vary between clubs and coaches so they should be used as a guide.

Levels 1 and 22 to 3 hours per week
Level 3 6 to 10 hours per week
Levels 4 and 59 to 14 hours per week
Levels 6 to 812 to 20 hours per week
Levels 9 and 1018 to 25 hours per week

Most Level 10 gymnasts in the USA are typically between the ages of 14 and 18. Level 10 is the highest level in the Development Program for Women’s Artistic Gymnastics in the USA and requires great dedication.

At this level, gymnasts are typically highly skilled and have been training for many years.

The number of hours that a Level 10 gymnast trains each week can vary greatly depending on several factors, such as their age, individual goals, and the demands of their gymnastics program.

However, it’s not uncommon for Level 10 gymnasts to train for 20 hours or more per week.

Levels 6 gymnast training hours

Most Level 6 gymnasts in the USA are typically between the ages of 9 and 12. Level 6 is an optional level in the Development Program in the USA meaning gymnasts are able to choreograph their own routines rather than follow set sequences.

At this level, gymnasts are learning skills like Handspring Vaults and Back Tucks on the Floor.

It’s not uncommon for Level 6 gymnasts to train for 8 to 12 hours per week.

It’s important to note that gymnastics at this level is still demanding and requires a significant amount of physical and mental focus.

gymnast training floor hours

However, the training schedule is typically less intense than at higher levels, and gymnasts at this level are still developing their skills and abilities. Gymnasts at this level need to find a balance between their training and other aspects of their life, such as school, family, and other activities.

Levels 2 gymnast training hours

Level 2 gymnasts are typically between the ages of 5 and 7. Level 2 is Pre Team stage in the Development Program in the USA and is considered to be an introductory level of gymnastics. At this level, gymnasts learn basic skills and develop coordination, balance, and strength.

It’s not uncommon for Level 2 gymnasts to train for 2 to 3 hours per week.

Rhythmic Gymnast Training Hours

As with Artistic gymnastics, there are many factors that affect the number of training hours a gymnast can dedicate each week. Rhythmic gymnastics is an Olympic discipline therefore the potential rewards of medal glory make this discipline highly competitive.

Rhythmic gymnasts can typically train for 15 to 30 hours or more per week. Elite rhythmic gymnasts may even train for 40 hours or more per week.

This gives enough time to work on flexibility which is of huge importance in Rhythmic as well as choreographing routines using either the ball, hoop or ribbon.

rhythmic training hours

Rhythmic may not use any big apparatus or require lots of tumbling but the demands are still intense!

Acro gymnast training hours

Acro gymnasts typically train for several hours each week, depending on their skill level, age, and competition schedule. Some gymnasts may train for as few as 6 hours a week, while others may train for up to 20 hours or more.

acro training hours

The exact amount of training time varies greatly, and many factors such as the gymnast’s goals, schedule, and physical abilities will determine their training regimen.

Acro (or acrobatics) isn’t an Olympic discipline yet. If you’re wondering why check out this article here.

Tumbling gymnast training hours

Tumbling involves lots of rebound and bouncing on wrists, ankles and knees, therefore, training sessions tend to be shorter than artistic gymnasts who can switch to different apparatus during the same session.

power tumbling

I’ve been fortunate enough to be in the same training sessions as former and future world champions and have learned from many great Tumbling coaches about how to plan the whole program.

Typically elite tumblers will train between 12 to 18 hours per week, though some may train less.

Final Thoughts

When trying to figure out how often do gymnasts train, the large number of factors make it challenging to give an overall answer. Instead, you must focus on specific ages and disciplines to get an average figure.

Regardless of the exact number of hours, it is widely recognized that gymnastics is one of the hardest sports in the world.


How many hours do gymnasts train a week?

There is a great range of training hours for gymnasts. At the top end of the sport elite artistic gymnasts can train up to 40 hours per week whereas low level competitive gymnasts may only train 3 to 4 hours per week.

How long do gymnasts train a day?

The length of gymnasts’ training sessions will depend on which discipline they are in and their age. Elite gymnasts typically train 3 to 4 hours at a time, sometimes twice a day depending on where they train and if their facility can accommodate that.

Do gymnasts train everyday?

Artistic gymnasts at the elite level usually train six days per week. Some factors will affect this such as age and whether they are in competition season or not.

Do gymnasts train full body?

Gymnasts train full body because the sport demands a high level of all-round strength and flexibility. As gymnasts progress in their career they sometimes focus on one or two pieces of apparatus so they can continue for longer. At this point their training becomes less intensive on the full body.

How do female gymnasts train?

Female gymnasts must train in a wide range of areas including strength, power, speed and flexibility. They have to acquire tumbling skills, bar, vault, beam and dance elements for floor routines. Elite regimes are tough and intensive but gymnastics can also be enjoyed for fun at a recreational level.

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